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Polite email

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  • 1. WRITING A POLITE EMAIL American Pragmatics and Culture Spring 2012 Ms. Candice QuiñonesContent from Purdue OWL website: “Email Etiquette” (Karl Stolley, Alan Brizee)
  • 2. POLITE EMAILS• These include several factors depending on who you are writing to and your relationship with them.• We will explore: • Writing to people you don’t know • Continuing email conversations • What information to send/not send • Attachments
  • 3. EMAILING SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW• Be sure to include a meaningful subject line • This helps clarify what your message is about and may also help the recipient prioritize reading your email• Just like a written letter, be sure to open your email with a greeting like-- Dear Dr. Jones, or Ms. Smith:• Use standard spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. • THERES NOTHING WORSE THAN AN EMAIL SCREAMING A MESSAGE IN ALL CAPS.
  • 4. EMAILING SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW• Write clear, short paragraphs and be direct and to the point. • Professionals and academics alike see their email accounts as business. • Dont write unnecessarily long emails or otherwise waste the recipients time• Be friendly and cordial, but dont try to joke around. • Jokes and witty remarks may be inappropriate and, more commonly, may not come off appropriately in email
  • 5. CONTINUING EMAIL CONVERSATIONS• Once you have exchanged emails with a person on a given subject, it is probably OK to leave greetings out of your follow-up emails.
  • 6. OTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER ABOUTCONTINUING CONVERSATIONS OVER EMAIL:• Try to respond within a reasonable time frame, though "reasonable" will depend on the recipients expectations and the subject being discussed• Trim back the old messages: • Most email clients will keep copying older messages to the bottom of an email. • Delete older messages so as to keep your message size from getting too large, and to keep your messages looking clean.
  • 7. OTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER ABOUTCONTINUING CONVERSATIONS OVER EMAIL:• If someone asks a lot of questions, it may be OK to embed your answers into the senders message copied at the bottom of your email. • However, if youre going to do this, be sure to say so at the top, and leave generous space. • For example: • > How long are you staying? Less than two weeks. >Will you have time to visit with us? Im really hoping to, but my schedule will be pretty tight. Let me get back to you about that after the weekend.
  • 8. WHAT INFORMATION NOT TO SENDNever send the following information over email:• Usernames and passwords• Credit card or other account information• Avoid including sensitive or information that could be potentially damaging to someones career and/or reputation, including your own. • Beyond emails general lack of security and confidentiality, your recipient can always accidentally hit the “Forward” button, leave his/her email account open on a computer, or print and forget that they have printed a copy of your email.
  • 9. SENDING ATTACHMENTSGuidelines:• Never send an attachment to someone you dont know the first time you contact them. • (Unless, of course, the contact has posted a job ad requesting a resume in a Word document). • They (or their computers) might think it is spam or a virus, and delete your message.• Avoid unnecessarily large file sizes. (Esp. digital photos—resize first)• When you must send a large file or set of files, do the recipient the courtesy of sending an email telling them what youll be sending and why.• Be sure to have anti-virus software installed on your computer to scan all of your outgoing and incoming messages for viruses.

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